[discuss] [IANAxfer] [ccnso-igrg] Two accountability questions - help pls- Workshop 23 - ICANN accountability

manning bill bmanning at isi.edu
Tue Sep 2 17:13:56 UTC 2014

John,  is there a presumptive in your reasoning that there will always be a singular
“IANA Operator” or could the various policy development bodies elect to discrete, other
parties to perform the “IANA” functions for that specific group?  i.e. are the tasks severable
and if so, should they remain that way?

Neca eos omnes.  Deus suos agnoscet.

On 2September2014Tuesday, at 9:21, John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org> wrote:

> On Sep 2, 2014, at 6:15 PM, Burr, Becky <Becky.Burr at neustar.biz> wrote:
>> I think we need to be clear about what kind of accountability we are
>> talking about in any point in time-
>> -  ICANN must be accountable to the IANA user community for performing the
>> IANA functions in accordance with agreed upon SLAs etc.  There are a lot
>> of ways to handle this - contracts with individual users or organizations
>> representing users, etc.
> Becky - 
> I believe that the "IANA Operator" must be accountable to the IANA 
> user communities (specifically, the policy development bodies that 
> provide the IANA with the policies to be followed in registry 
> administration) for performing the IANA functions.
> The "IANA Operator" is today ICANN, should tomorrow be ICANN, but 
> that should be because ICANN is doing a great job with IANA services 
> and that it makes sense to continue; i.e. there should not be anything 
> structural that locks the IANA services to any particular organization,
> as it should always be possible for the registry policy development 
> bodies to move the IANA registry administration tasks to a new 
> operator in cases of chronic failure to perform by the present IANA
> operator.
> I do not believe that the IANA Operator can be "accountable" to 
> "individual users", if by that term you mean end-users rather than
> communities of users who are making use of a particular registry.
> At the end of the day, the IANA Operator needs to perform according
> to adopted policy, and that means accountability to the parties that 
> develop that policy.  
> (Questions of how to keep policy development bodies accountable to 
> their communities of interest are equally important, but quite a 
> distinct question.)
> If one supposes that IANA is to be simultaneously accountable to a
> registry policy development body (e.g. the IETF, or gNSO) and also
> to an association of individual users, and then there is a conflict
> in expectations, the IANA would need to make a "judgement" and that
> should not be IANA task.  Setting up any structure where the IANA 
> may decide not to follow the adopted policy is actually making it 
> _less accountable_ to the direct IANA user community for accurate
> operation.
>> -  ICANN must be accountable to the ICANN community and to others
>> materially harmed by its actions that are not consistent with a set of
>> baseline, agreed upon behaviors (set out in a compact, for example,
>> reflecting core values and principles of non-discrimination, due process,
>> etc.).  In this context, I don’t think we should be talking about
>> “external” v. “internal.”  I would like to see a dispute resolution
>> function that is internal but independent.  The current arbitration
>> process produces completely incoherent responses, as we have seen in the
>> context of new gTLDs.  It would be better to have arbitrators who
>> understand what ICANN is and how it works, and who can- through dispute
>> resolution - provide guidance for the future.  Of course, this probably
>> reflects a common law bias, but it seems a better fit for ICANN.
> That's certainly one approach; however, it's going to be very challenging
> to provide evidence that these mechanisms (a "compact of agree behaviors",
> a "internal but independent" dispute resolution process, etc.) are going
> to be durable in nature and still in existence and operating correctly in
> decades to come.  To the extent that they are all structures within the
> corporation, and subject to change by Board at its discretion, there is 
> no assurance that these would not be swept aside when found inconvenient
> with the Board's perception of serving the public interest.
> Compare/contrast that to a membership-based structure (wherein the rights 
> can be anchored in bylaws in a manner not subject to change without clear
> consent) or a contractual model (wherein the rights are explicit between
> parties including the conditions for amendment); either of those models
> provide for very clear accountability including traditional legal redress;
> it is not clear how the equivalent is provided in your compact/internal
> dispute resolution approach.
> /John
> Disclaimers: my views alone.
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